OAKLAND -- A man has been charged with murder and attempted murder in a February shooting near Highland Hospital in East Oakland that resulted from something stolen at a social gathering, authorities said Monday.
Harold T. Smith III, 22, of Oakland, is charged in the killing of Innocent Okoronkwo Jr., 24, and the wounding of a 26-year-old man.
Police said the two victims were friends and were familiar with Smith. Okoronkwo, of Oakland, was a loss-prevention officer at several stores.
The shooting happened about 8:35 p.m. Feb. 22 in the 2400 block of 14th Avenue. Police said the three men had been at a social gathering with others in the 2700 block of 14th Avenue earlier in the evening, and Smith had stolen something. Police would not say what was taken.
Police said when Okoronkwo and his friend saw Smith later in the 2400 block of 14th Avenue, an altercation ensued over the missing item, which ended with the two men being shot.
Smith was quickly identified as the suspected gunman, and a probable cause warrant was issued for his arrest.
He was arrested April 1 in a stolen car in Antioch, police said. Officer Leo Sanchez said Smith has denied being the gunman and claimed he was not in Oakland when the shooting happened.
Besides the murder and attempted murder counts, Smith is also charged with unlawful firearm activity. That charge, according to court documents, results from a May 2008 robbery conviction when Smith was 17 and placed on probation and forbidden to possess a firearm. Smith is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail.